Tattoos and tolerance - catching up with guest columnist Rory McEntyre: Editorial sketchbook

Tattoos and tolerance – catching up with guest columnist Rory McEntyre: Editorial sketchbook

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Tattoos and tolerance - catching up with guest columnist Rory McEntyre: Editorial sketchbook

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Rory McEntyre and his wife, Chelcey, will head back to New York at the end of August. (Submitted photo)

Two and a half months ago, Gresham resident Rory McEntyre took Portland to task in  a guest column for falling short of its reputation as "a place where the ‘weird’ and ‘different’ are accepted."  Having moved here from New York in late March with his wife, McEntyre found that he couldn’t find a job, even washing dishes, as a result of his numerous facial piercings and tattoos. With their money running out, he wrote, the couple was thinking about moving to Florida, where a job in a scrap metal yard awaited.

The response was overwhelming in terms of both online page views and comments. Hundreds of readers weighed in, some agreeing with McEntyre and many others observing that people who alter their appearance in the way he has shouldn’t expect potential employers to be impressed.

McEntyre and his wife, Chelcey, are, indeed, heading back East. They’ll leave at the end of the month for New York, where he says he’ll wash dishes for the restaurant that employed him before he struck out for Oregon. He recently found similar work here, he says, but by moving across the country he was hoping to capitalize on a recently completed bachelor’s degree from SUNY Purchase .

"The whole point of coming out here was to find something better," he says, not to recreate the life they had in New York. McEntyre does not seem bitter but says it makes no sense to stay here when he and his wife are living paycheck to paycheck.

But what, you ask, is with the facial tattoos and piercings?

McEntyre says his first tattoo, which he received as a teenager, was a dragon on his arm. But he steered clear of his face until he was 20. The idea of a facial tattoo had come to him earlier, but acting on it had to wait, he says, […]